New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee
New Orleans City Planning Commission studies small box retailers- public comment needed
New Orleans City Council has instructed the City Planning Commission to conduct a study of "small box" retailers in New Orleans.
The study, to be completed in the coming months, will look at stores between 5,000 and 10,000 square feet that don’t offer fresh food — excluding gas station stores and pharmacies that sell groceries and make recommendations to City Council. This could include a moratorium on the stores, which concentrate in predominantly low income and underserved districts of the city, and a minimum shelf space for fresh foods at such stores.
FPAC members Propeller and Tulane Prevention Research Center met with City Planning Commission in August to share food access research that has been done in New Orleans and national best practices in order to inform the study.
Neighborhood, health, and food systems organizations including FPAC expressed support for this study at a public comment hearing on September 11. Cited concerns include a lack of fresh food stocked at these stores, as there are direct correlations between fresh food offered and health. Also shared were concerns about the optics and impression of these stores on neighborhoods as well as the impact these stores have on attracting conventional grocery stores.
City Planning Commission cited other city models such as Tulsa, AZ who recently approved a moratorium on such stores.
Public comment is open until November 5. November 6 City Planning will release it's report and recommendations and present to City Council on November 13. You can make public comment on their website.
Senator Cassidy's Homepage (with all offices listed)
Urban Agriculture This bill mandates specific urban farmer support by Federal Government; resources that are currently available to farmers are located in rural areas and biased toward rural farmer experiences, while urban farmers face unique challenges and lack support services to address them. A group of Louisiana organizations has written a list of reasons to support this legislation, and provides a space to ask for Senator Cassidy to Co-Sponsor the Urban Agriculture Act.
Next Generation in Agriculture Act of 2018 The average age of a farmer in Louisiana in 2012 was 58.5 (1). This legislation would enhance training and support programs to ensure a new generation of Louisiana farmers can grow food and care for our land. There are two chapters of National Young Farmers Coalition in this state, one in New Orleans and one covering other parts of the state.
Louisiana State Data from Economic Research Service including Food Security, Farmland Acreage, and Farm Economic Indicators. 67% of the number of farms in Louisiana made under $10,000 in sales in 2012; the average size of a farm was 281 acres (2). Senator Cassidy should consider the impact of crop insurance and grant and loan programs as they relate to small-scale producers.
Louisiana State Ag Data from National Agriculture Statistics Survey dives deeper into value and ranking of Louisiana crops. Food crops are noticeably low-value on these charts. In order to feed ourselves locally and support our food farmers, the Farm Bill should ensure small, food-crop farmers have access to support and programs.
Farm Bill Tracker